The Ray Charles Performing Arts Center is the latest addition to the Morehouse Campus and is named after the 12-time Grammy-award winner who was known in the music industry as the “Genius.” Charles’ relationship with Morehouse began nine years ago when he was invited to Atlanta to perform with the College’s jazz ensemble. He received an honorary degree from Morehouse and became a long-time friend and supporter of the College.
The building is located on the corner of Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard and West End Avenue and boasts 76,000 square feet and 2 stories. It includes the 650-seat Emma and Joe Adams Concert Hall, named for Charles’ long-time manager Joe Adams and his wife, Emma. It features a new Steinway-D Concert Grand piano, and the building also includes an electronic piano lab, which includes 16 electronic pianos; a composition lab with preproduction workstations designed to teach students the art of arrangement and production; a listening acquisition lab; a motorized orchestra pit; 12 faculty studios; nine practice rooms; two rehearsal rooms and three academic labs, including the David Geffen Keyboard Digital Music Lab and a state-of-the-art digital/analog recording studio. There also is space for about 200 people to sit on blankets immediately in front of the stage on The Eugene Mitchell Performance Lawn area on the backside of the building.
R L Brown & Associates, Inc., the Owner’s in-house architectural professionals, and Merke & Hill Consultants, Inc. have developed an impressive facility for Morehouse College and the surrounding community.